Argument or organisation? The battle over membership of the European Union



26 | ARGUMENT OR ORGANISATION? THE BATTLE OVER MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Our research suggests that the issues most salient amongst Labour voters are broadly the same as the rest of the population, but with a greater importance given to jobs, and immigration ranking as the second most important issue rather than first. Workers’ rights is also an important issue. On jobs, 52 per cent of Labour supporters feel that remaining in the EU would be better for jobs and 61 per cent of Labour supporters found Remain’s argument on jobs very or somewhat convincing. On immigration, just 50 per cent of Labour supporters agree that the free movement of labour in Europe is good and benefits the economy and workers. In addition to finding better ways to speak to Labour supporters about jobs and immigration, both campaigns should be confident of talking about a number of more progressive issues not being prioritised by the main campaigns. In particular, Remain should ramp up their discussion of Europe being a guarantor of rights at work. 29 per cent of Labour supporters think that workers’ rights is one of the three core issues at stake in the referendum, and that they also find arguments about rights at work very convincing. We tested two messages being used by the Labour Remain campaign about rights at work, and both perform well among Labour supporters. 26 If Britain left the EU, the Tories would be free to further undermine workers' rights. EU law stops the Tories undermining the right to holiday pay, paid maternity leave, and protection for agency workers. Leaving would put those rights at risk. 38 23 61% LABOUR SUPPORTERS EU membership has given vital rights to British workers. British workers benefit from EU agreements on workers' rights, including the right to holiday pay, paid maternity leave, and protection for agency workers. If we leave those rights would be at risk 30 30 60% LABOUR SUPPORTERS Very convincing Somewhat convincing We also tested different evidence points about rights at work, listing the different rights delivered or guaranteed by the EU. Labour supporters selected prevention from discrimination as the most effective amongst these. 61 per cent of them also said that these rights at work either might 26 Arguments taken from Labour Party website ( & LabourList (

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